Sunday, February 21, 2016

Spotlight on Linda K. Sienkiewicz, author of women’s fiction and contemporary romance.


Meet talented Linda K. Sienkiewicz! I'd like to tell you about her debut novel, In the Context of Love.

In In the Context of Love, Angelica Schirrick wonders how her life could have gone so far off-track. She remembers her forbidden high school romance with Joe Vadas, the son of Hungarian immigrants. Scandal tore them apart, Joe disappeared, and she’s spent years trying to recover from the split. Shortly after, a devastating family secret shattered her sense of self, leading to a multitude of bad choices that include marrying a man with a missing finger and secrets of his own. She leaves her husband and, with two children in tow, begins a journey of self-discovery that leads her back home to Ohio. She must find a way to put the past to rest before she can be open to life and a second chance at love. And what if Joe returns? Will he help her or tear her family further apart?
Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of #1 NYTimes Bestseller, DEEP END OF THE OCEAN, says: “With humor and tenderness, but without blinking, Linda K. Sienkiewicz turns her eye on the predator-prey savannah of the young and still somehow hopeful.”
Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Michigan Notable Book MOTHERS TELL YOUR DAUGHTERS, says “Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey. It should be required reading for all wayward daughters, and their mothers, too.”

Excerpt from In the Context of Love:
At the age of twelve, hormones exploded from my pituitary glands like a pipe bomb. My first period started at school. The streak of blood panicked me, but then I felt full of pride and somehow wise. I wondered if anyone could tell if I carried an odor or walked differently. I wanted others to know and I didn’t.
I grew breasts overnight. I wasn’t sure how to carry those new accessories, two tender burdens to protect from boys’ stares and elbows in the hallways. Adolescent girls are envious of anything they don’t have, and rumors that I stuffed my bra with tissues, or I was “asking for it” floated around the middle school. It was always about sex. Every girl was judged by her walk, her talk, the way she chewed her gum, the color of her lipstick, the length of her skirt, how dirty or clean her hair was, the way she sat—trying to keep it straight was exhausting. A girl could end up with a bad reputation for no other reason than her body developed faster than the others.
I don’t recall how my friends and I got our clammy hands on The Sensuous Woman, a paperback so explicit that the author didn’t disclose her real name, but the text was far more enlightening than the dime store romances we paged through for the sex scenes (“Ashton crushed Millicent’s white bosoms to his bare chest in a brutal embrace.”) We passed it around more than a few times. I stayed up late, studying “how to please your man,” although some maneuvers, such as the “Hoover,” made me squeamish. Back then, the thought of putting a boy’s dick in my mouth was nasty enough, much less sucking it. Understanding how a woman faked an orgasm wasn’t clear, either. If I didn’t know what it was like, how could I fake one? And why would I?
By the time I was thirteen men were turning their heads to watch me pass. I’ll never forget the day Mom and I were walking to the library when a group of boys whistled and hooted at me as they drove past. You’d have thought they were firing a shotgun out the window of their car by the way she jumped. She gripped me by the elbow and hurried me along. “Don’t walk that way,” she said, uncharacteristic sternness in her voice as if I had done something wrong.
In the Context of Love can be purchased in paperback or e-reader on Amazon http://amzn.to/1IiVWEs  or Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1QFs340 
Here’s an interview with Angelica Schirrick, the narrator of In the Context of Love:
1. What is your birthdate?
I came screaming into this world on June 30, 1958, delivered by a midwife, Rose Rumble, at my great aunt’s farm in Wisconsin.
2. Do you have a nickname?
 People have called me troublemaker, short stuff, hot stuff, cupcake (by my dad) Angel, hure (by my wicked German grandmother — don’t ask why), but most people call me Angie.
3. What’s your level of schooling?
I should say the School of Hard Knocks, but actually, I have an associate’s degree.
4. What is your job?
I’m proud to say I’ve worked my way up to be the marketing and community service director for Safe Harbor, a non-profit women’s domestic violence shelter in Cleveland Ohio.
5. What is your most important goal?
To see my two children grow up to be happy and well-adjusted, despite having a felon for a father.
Author Linda K. Sienkiewicz attributes her creative drive to her artistic mother, who taught her to sew, and her father, who let her monkey around with the gadgets in his workshop. Her poetry, short stories and art have been published in more than fifty literary journals. She has a poetry chapbook award from Bottom Dog Press and an MFA from The University of Southern Maine.


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